Imagine a vast colony of insects, all living and working diligently according to their natures, age upon age, constantly toiling to perfect the hive. And then one day, a few individual insects are infected with an unknown virus, which attaches to their nervous systems and twists their neural processing. The infected insects, who are otherwise well fed and gainfully employed, begin to twitch and veer aimlessly. Soon they lose all volition, and become a thrashing mob, scything through their hive and randomly shredding cocoons, pupae, hive walls, honey stores. The infected creatures rage about mindlessly, destroying everything in their path, until finally they are brought down, dismembered, by warriors of the colony.
The colony is mindless, so its only response is to destroy the infected members and go on with life. But what if it were a colony of super-intelligent aliens? Which would be a more rational response from the alien insect civilization… simply killing the infected citizens, or neutralizing them and then figuring out what was wrong with them in the first place?
That is essentially our predicament, when faced with vicious lunatics such as the subhuman garbage now attacking Mumbai. What did the Mumbai people do to bring on this attack? Well, I doubt I’m going out on a limb to predict their only linking crime was failing to visualize their imaginary magical friends in the same way as their attackers. I mean, how dare the people of Mumbai not simply believe exactly the same psychotic lies as the Deccan Mujahideen? What could they be thinking? Clearly, the religious position of this latest band of penisless thugs is self-evidently superior to everyone else’s, as evidenced by their hiding from capture, their cowardly attacking of random children, and the lice and filth that most likely decorate their secret caves. Obviously… I mean, obviously, their god is the most powerful and insightful, kindest and gentlest, most gigantic invisible creature worth abasing ourselves before.
Their god is a psychosis. The disease motivating terrorists like the Mumbai attackers is called religion. It’s a virus of seductive misinformation, clothed in attractive silks while coyly conceiling a hag of terror and nihilistic madness. The only difference between the thug now terrorizing India and nice churchy family across the street is the degree to which they have succumbed to religiosis… the disease of believing in impossible, non-existent, omnipotent entities that drive you to commit inhuman atrocities. Most people can fight off the infection sufficiently well to function, sometimes suffering a lifelong but otherwise manageable chronic condition. A few people are weak, their immune systems compromised by poverty, malnourishment or mistreatment by others… they succumb, and strap on bombs. Some of us are immune.
It’s not enough to simply arrest or shoot the crazies who attack our civilization. If we intend to limit the collateral damage, we need to recognize that believing in delusions gets people killed. Believing things that are real tend to limit that sort of thing.